The analysts on CNN, where I watched the State of the Union message, were all excited about the interpersonal dynamics between President Donald Trump and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He apparently declined to shake her hand before the speech. She could be seen (no “apparently” about it) tearing up her copy of the speech at the end.
Not cool, but I really don’t care. Nor do I care, except from an electioneering standpoint, about various Trumpian panders to various electoral groups (one very smart friend of mine called in the middle to opine that Trump was pandering to African-American voters by asking African-Americans in the audience to stand up and be applauded). I have trouble believing that Trump can turn many black votes toward his favor by such displays.
I did note that, without mentioning Barack Obama’s name, Trump did manage to argue that the country was falling apart under his distinguished predecessor, so badly that his own Trumpian presidency represents “the great American comeback,” even though the economy was growing and the stock market was rising pretty much throughout the Obama years. But Trump not only didn’t note that, he suggested the opposite was the case.
(The actual Trump quote was “the failed economic policies of the previous administration.”)
There were some great tear-jerker moments, more than I remember from previous SOTUs, especially the surprise reunion of a woman and child with their soldier husband/father, who apparently had been flown home for the occasion without telling the wife. But neither this nor much else in the speech had much to do with the actual State of the actual Union.
The real Donald Trump, according to me, is the lying race-baiter at his rallies. Those people get him and he gets them. This was re-election Donald Trump, speaking to gettable swing voters and trying to convince them that he has made America so much greater that they should want four more years of his peerless leadership, and encouraging them to pay much less attention to that other doppelganger Donald Trump who does those racist rallies where he encourages his admirers to knock the crap out of protesters.